Sarah Osborn's World by Catherine A. Brekus
The Rise of Evangelical Christianity in Early America (New Directions in Narrative History)

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In 1743, sitting quietly with pen in hand, Sarah Osborn pondered how to tell the story of her life, how to make sense of both her spiritual awakening and the sudden destitution of her family. Remarkably, the memoir she created that year survives today, as do more than two thousand additional pages she composed over the following three decades. Sarah Osborn's World is the first book to mine this remarkable woman’s prolific personal and spiritual record. Catherine Brekus recovers the largely forgotten story of Sarah Osborn's life as one of the most charismatic female religious leaders of her time, while also connecting her captivating story to the rising evangelical movement in eighteenth-century America.

A schoolteacher in Rhode Island, a wife, and a mother, Sarah Osborn led a remarkable revival in the 1760s that brought hundreds of people, including many slaves, to her house each week. Her extensive written record—encompassing issues ranging from the desire to be "born again" to a suspicion of capitalism—provides a unique vantage point from which to view the emergence of evangelicalism. Brekus sets Sarah Osborn's experience in the context of her revivalist era and expands our understanding of the birth of the evangelical movement—a movement that transformed Protestantism in the decades before the American Revolution.


About Catherine A. Brekus

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Catherine A. Brekus teaches American religious history at the University of Chicago. She is the author or editor of several books on the history of women and religion, including Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, and is editing a volume of Sarah Osborn's diaries forthcoming from Yale University Press. She lives in Kenilworth, IL.
Published January 8, 2013 by Yale University Press. 448 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality.

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A deeply personal relationship with God and an urge to spread the gospel characterized the so-called revivalists emerging from the more strict reformist faiths that had seen the early founding of America.

Oct 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Sarah Osborn's World: The Ris...

The Gospel Coalition

(Brekus, associate professor in religions and the history of Christianity at the University of Chicago Divinity School is also preparing to publish an edition of Osborn’s writings.) Brekus not only introduces us to Osborn’s personal story but also deftly places it in a frame of 18th-century ...

| Read Full Review of Sarah Osborn's World: The Ris...

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